The education book
“THE BELIEF THAT ALL GENUINE EDUCATION COMES ABOUT THROUGH EXPERIENCE DOES NOT MEAN THAT ALL EXPERIENCES ARE GENUINELY OR EQUALLY EDUCATIVE” ~John Dewey 2
In-country Activities Post-trip Outputs
Board of Advisors
Mentorship Alignment and Assessments Health and Safety Curricular Sources
Envoys is a proud member of the Partnership for Global Learning, an innovative membership network providing leadership and structure to move international education from the margins to the mainstream. The PGL connects policy and practice in order to prepare American students to excel in an interconnected world. We take our definition of global competency from the work of the PGLâ€™s task force:
GLOBAL COMPETENCE IS THE CAPACITY AND DISPOSITION TO UNDERSTAND AND ACT ON ISSUES OF GLOBAL SIGNIFICANCE.
Globally competent students possess the following competencies:
Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, framing significant problems and conducting well-crafted research. Recognize perspectives, othersâ€™ and their own, articulating and explaining such perspectives thoughtfully and respectfully. Communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences, bridging geographic, linguistic, ideological, and cultural barriers. Take action to improve conditions, viewing themselves as players in the world and participating reflectively. Envoys has dedicated itself to complementing the work of schools and families in building these competencies. Each program facilitates the investigation of specific global issues, while also building a set of transferable skills. We integrate online courses, experiential learning activities, individualized research plans, and quality project outputs to ensure that Envoys students are prepared for the world. 8
Envoys defines empathy as the capacity to understand and share the feelings of another person. As empathy entails comprehension on both emotional and cognitive levels, it is a capacity that can be developed, particularly within youth. The importance of empathy cannot be understated. Significant correlations have been identified between students’ scores on measures of empathic understanding and their grade point averages, higher-order reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, and creative abilities. Furthermore, neuro-scientists have found evidence that we are “hard-wired” for empathic responses to those around us.
Our online courses prime students to consider the emotions and experiences of others through a series of situational perspective-taking exercises. Furthermore, we are transparent about our objectives. This focuses energy, on the part of both instructors and students, on developing skills.
Envoys provides a safe arena for students to engage in exploration and relationship formation. Envoys staff model empathic skills throughout their communications while on the trip. We focus our observations first on the similarities between the foreign and the known, gradually leading to an appreciation of the life of “the other.”
REFLECT Envoys staff are trained to manage the empathic distress and questions of identity and “worth” that can arise from exposure to foreign environments. We channel this energy into the listing of daily learning points and the gradual creation of systems maps, making connections between student experiences and their home context. Finally, we push students to gain a sense of mastery over their experiences by building action plans to take their learning home with them. 10
ASSESS Envoys believes that as an education organization, we have the responsibility to demonstrate concretely, to ourselves and our stakeholders, that our work has made a difference. Our staff utilize our self-designed reporting sheets to evaluate students’ situational empathy, meaning their specific responses to stimuli during the program. We utilize a version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index designed by Mark Davis to evaluate the constructs that comprise dispositional empathy, considered as the more stable (though mutable) character trait of empathy.
Along with targeted investigations of global issues, Envoys programs are designed to foster a set of transferable skills across four domains. We see the development of these skills as not only essential for the future success of our students, but also key to shaping better citizens of the world. ENVIRONMENT
The activities grouped within the Environmental Awareness domain reveal a new natural world for students. Multiple benefits are generated by increased interaction with nature. Research shows that this contact provides unique benefits for children and young people, promotes respect for the environment, reduces stress levels and prevents unexpected mood changes, reduces the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and promotes the development of cognitive skills.
The activities comprising the Youth Development domain build the strong social and emotional core required for success and psychological well-being. Envoys staff assist students to develop social skills, increase physical abilities, improve cognitive skills, and build positive values. Our work is targeted to develop feelings of personal competence, which has been related to enhanced health, better coping with stress, and more effective self-regulation.
The measurable skills developed by Envoys for this domain include: • Respecting the environment and our place in it • Understanding the impact produced by humans on the environment • Feeling comfortable being outdoors • Understanding the duty of global citizens to act as responsible consumers
• Willingness to explore and take risks • Willingness to meet new people and do new things • Confidence in one’s own identity and culture • Confidence in one’s ability to learn and navigate through unfamiliar situations • Confidence in one’s ability to foster meaningful change in the world
Awareness of and respect for other cultures lies at the heart of Envoys’ work. Our programs provide students with both structured and unstructured opportunities to be in direct contact with local communities in the regions we visit. We take a collaborative approach to service learning, in which students and members of the community make a joint decision to donate their time and expertise for a project that benefits the community.
The activities in this domain complement and enrich the learning that occurs in traditional formal education programs. Envoys programs ensure that students see increases in willingness to explore, selfdirection, and enjoyment of learning, thus building the transferable skills that reinforce the school’s academic goals.
The measurable skills developed by Envoys for this domain include: • Respect for the dignity and human rights of others • Respect for cultural diversity and the perspectives of others • Comfort working with people of other social, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds • Understanding the value of volunteer work • Understanding of systems perspectives and global economic, environmental, and social linkages 12
The measurable skills developed by Envoys for this domain include:
The measurable skills developed by Envoys for this domain include: • Learning things without adult guidance • Relating concepts learned in classes to the outside world • Identifying different approaches to learning • Ability to share learning with others
BACKGROUND As an organization run by and for educators, Envoys recognizes that travel experiences have remarkable potential for â€˜REMâ€™.
RETENTION Youth traveling in unfamiliar contexts have heightened recall of the experiences
ENGAGEMENT While in-country, youth are engaged with and responsive to the environment around them
MENTORSHIP Students are open and receptive to guidance and mentoring from adults during their travel experiences
THE AUTOMATICITY OF THESE ELEMENTS MAKES TRAVEL EXPERIENCES A FRUITFUL GROUND FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING. HOWEVER, REM ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE THESE EXPERIENCES EDUCATIONAL. FOR THAT, WE NEED MUCH MORE.
A coherent vision of skill development Programs must be designed to facilitate the investigation of globally significant issues and develop transferable skills.
Envoys is an organization created by and for educators. We have seen the demands placed on teachers for a global approach to education, and the need for accountable and dedicated support to meet those demands. Envoys recognizes the necessity of experiences outside of the classroom to develop globally competent youth. We believe that educational travel must meet the same high expectations that have been placed on the rest of the education sector.
Evaluations of outcomes Teaching for understanding requires a demonstration of that learning. Evaluations are necessary to prove a programâ€™s worth to all stakeholders.
Focused, researchbased curriculum Every lesson and every activity must be intentional. A program must be flexible in response to the educational needs of its students.
Envoys partners with innovative teachers and schools from around the world to expand education beyond the classroom doors.
Ethos of innovation for success Program improvement is a continual process. Todayâ€™s ceiling must be tomorrowâ€™s floor.
PRE-TRIP ACTIVITIES “The best thing was being able to apply what we learned into our actual trip. We learned about being empathetic towards new communities, and then we were able to experience it first hand“ ~Ted, Envoys Student
WHAT WE DO Envoys begins teaching months before a trip commences. A series of online courses blend video, reading, asynchronous discussions, realtime lectures, and assessments to ensure that students are fully prepared for their experience. Envoys runs preparatory courses on • Destination-specific topics - History and culture - Socio-political, economic, and environmental context • Introductions to conceptual models - System dynamics, macroeconomics, international relations, sustainable tourism • Media design and production - Communication methods, website design, camerawork, documentary filmmaking • Personal development - Cultural competency, empathy, and personal responsibility
WHAT OUTCOMES WE EXPECT This preparatory process is designed to fulfill the following outcomes: • Students have the knowledge necessary to confidently explore the destination • Students have identified a research topic of global significance related to both the destination and their own personal interest • Students have formulated a research plan for their trip that culminates in a meaningful output • Students are primed to engage in empathic behaviors, systems thinking perspectives, and learning attitudes while in-country • Students understand the process of ‘preparing to embrace the unfamiliar,’ giving them a toolkit of approaches that they can utilize for any future destination
WHY WE DO THIS Research has proven that building contextual knowledge results in a more meaningful experience in the country. Rather than viewing the world as their playground, Envoys students report significant gains in cross-cultural understanding and sensitivity. Additionally, the development of a research framework for ‘traveling with a purpose’ provides motivation to engage in the continual process of exploration and reflection necessary for experiential learning to take place. 19
IN-COUNTRY ACTIVITIES “The instructors were there 24/7 to guide us and help us, encouraging our learning opportunities from early morning hikes to group sessions before bed. I learned how to be a responsible global citizen and I am truly thankful for this experience” ~Katie, Envoys Student.’
WHAT WE DO Envoys in-country activities build upon the preparatory courses to create a cohesive learning experience. Immediately after arrival, Envoys staff work with individual students to reify their individual learning goals for the trip, including understanding the culture, interacting with local citizens, exploring the country, understanding the larger picture, and sharing the adventure with those back home. Positioning this process at the start of the trip that students separate themselves from ‘educated tourists,’ and take personal responsibility for their learning. Throughout the trip, Envoys staff work with students to ensure that they are able to gather and process the information necessary to fulfill their research plans. Drawing on our interdisciplinary expertise, Envoys instructors support students in realizing their individual learning goals through a variety of lessons and activities, including: • Regular structured lessons on the environmental, historical, and social context through which we travel • Interviews with local business owners, academics, tour guides, park rangers, teachers, and students • Negotiation simulations that highlight tensions between local interests and the international community • Guidance on media production and editing, including reviewing scripts and planning the collection of video footage • Creation of systems maps connecting variables seen throughout the trip into a coherent and self-perpetuating cycle • Pushing students to consider their experience from a variety of artistic and emotional perspectives • Scaffolding students in creating a daily schedule, including travel routes, restaurant selection, destination objectives, and contingency planning
WHAT OUTCOMES WE EXPECT TH U T g in s YO EN E M ng nt V P le e al nm TI O SI EL ch ro V m vi PO E D or en rf n p e pe eig lo or ts or ve pl en n f de ex ud s i s o St sk nt s t le l e s ta ab fu ud ne el ing rld St ing fe an o ill ts e e w w en r m th ud te in St fos ge to han c
EN V St AW IR ud O A NM le en R ar ts EN E n N ab int ES TA ou era S L t t ct he w fo Stu r t de en ith he n vi na ts ro tu ou en g nm re r p vir ain St en an o l ac nm re t d du ude s e p in en ec ty nt s it t a t to to un nd w ac d ar t er r ds e st s na po and tu ns t re ib he ly
Envoys in-country programs are designed to foster a set of transferable skills across four domains, resulting in the overall development of global competency
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Students have the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance
WHY WE DO THIS Envoys recognizes the tremendous opportunities for learning made possible during travel experiences and the responsibility we have to ensure that the experience is educationally valid. We believe that every activity that takes place during our trips must have a high degree of intentionality in order to develop the wide skill set associated with global competency. This can only be accomplished through the combination of purposeful planning and flexible instruction. 21
POST-TRIP ACTIVITIES “The Envoys trip made me reflect on my own life and gave me a whole new outlook on my future. I can’t wait to go on another trip!” ~ Joseph, Envoys Student
WHAT WE DO Envoys students are required to produce highquality and meaningful outputs as a result of their experiences. Students produce these outputs in an initial form during the last few days of the trip and present them to trip leaders and peers at the conclusion of the trip.
Upon returning home, Envoys staff continue to work with students to review and improve their final products. Essays are re-written, videos are improved, advocacy plans are carried out, websites are uploaded, and every possible effort is made to ensure that the impact of the trip continues throughout the student’s life.
WHAT OUTCOMES WE EXPECT The outputs vary depending on the research topic identified and the skill set students wish to develop. Potential projects include: • Documentary-style videos • Public service announcements • Advocacy campaigns for local communities • Lesson plans for teaching peers about their experience • Business plans for new social enterprises
• Website design and marketing plan for local NGOs • Systems map displaying global and local variables • Self-designed website with photos, video, and text explaining research findings • Entry into essay competitions on international relations, environmental sciences, and travel writing
WHY WE DO THIS Envoys trips are designed to help students to discover their own passions in life and to build the sense of self-efficacy needed to take an active role in the world. We understand that travel is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the realization of this goal. Therefore, the production of tangible outputs as a result of our trips is essential. 22
TEACHING FOR UNDERSTANDING Envoys instructional design begins with a simple, yet powerful, principle drawn from the Teaching for Understanding framework:
People learn much of what they have a reasonable opportunity and motivation to learn Following this principle requires:
Consistent provision of clear information, including explanations of phenomena, goals for learning, and expected performances Regular opportunities for active engagement and reflection Activities with a high degree of intrinsic and/or extrinsic motivation Clear, thorough, and informative feedback to learners on their performance
ONLINE LEARNING Envoys online courses blend video, reading, asynchronous discussions, interesting projects, real-time lectures, and assessments to ensure that students are fully prepared for their experience. Our online instructors:
Design appropriate outcomes for their online offerings Use effective strategies to create an online community that is comfortable taking risks and sharing questions and ideas Facilitate discussions that demonstrate higher order thinking and lead students to increase their competencies Understand how various features of an online platform can contribute to participant engagement and learning Have options for evaluating the effectiveness of the online offerings and for assessing the students level of understanding 26
COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AS A COMMUNITY OF ONLINE LEARNERS Students report that greater understanding comes from interactions with content, participants and the instructor. Within this model, the components can be viewed independently, while their interconnectivity leads to collaborative learning.
Concept Presence Interaction with content
Participation Presence Interaction with peers
Collaborative Learning Strategic Presence Interaction with pedagogy
Teacher Presence Interaction with facilitator
Interaction with fellow participants is often the key to developing understanding
Core concepts are introduced in content packets
Tone for participation is one of communal learning and increasing each other’s competencies ‘Thinking out loud’ about ideas is key to the learning process
Multiple representations of ideas are provided via text, phenomena and representations Focus on specific content areas vary according to the needs of participants Supplements are added depending upon participant’s needs
Interaction with pedagogy, methods and techniques used in online learning
Less ‘Sage on the Stage’ and more ‘Coach and Facilitator’
Questions and comments by participants are encouraged
Monitors discussions and feedback, and redirects and/or adds information
Assignments and activities are posted for all participants to review
Creates a ‘virtual round table environment’ for interactions to happen
Multiple perspectives on topic ideas are generated 27
INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING Envoys management and staff have academic training and professional experience in a wide array of disciplines, including corporate law, environmental sciences, development economics, photography, international affairs, social entrepreneurship, media production, and journalism. We draw upon our respective backgrounds and talents to foster quality interdisciplinary understanding. 28
Envoys takes an interdisciplinary approach because doing so allows for deeper understanding of particular global issues
Envoys lessons impart accurate information and develop critical skills grounded within specific disciplines
Integration Envoys staff combine their respective expertise in specific disciplines to deepen student understanding of the world
Reflection Envoys staff guide students through daily reflections on their understanding of the interdisciplinary content
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Envoys recognizes the rich opportunities for learning and development inherent in our programmatic experiences. Therefore, Envoys staff are trained in experiential learning principles, focusing on the four-element cycle contained within David Kolbâ€™s Experiential Learning Theory:
Kolb defines experiential learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.” Envoys provides a variety of means of reflection, including “stories for home,” individual and group journals, peer writing assignments, and group discussions. We encourage students to be conscious of their intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual reactions to each new environment. Envoys staff actively model the process of conceptualization and experimentation, building students’ confidence as they explore. 31
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Envoys accepts that a degree of risk is inherent in all international travel and outdoor activities. Therefore, we take the following measures to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff:
PHYSICAL Envoys trip leaders and support staff are certified in Emergency First Response and as Wilderness First Responders. Our inhouse medical team of icensed physicians conducts trainings, checks equipment, and accompanies select trips. In addition, we develop and implement emergency plans
and risk-prevention protocols designed specifically for each of the destinations to which we travel. Every Envoys trip is equipped with emergency beacons with the capability of ordering an evacuation by helicopter through the GEOS private Search and Rescue service.
EMOTIONAL Envoys trips place students in challenging situations, exposing them to unfamiliar environments and new activities. Envoys takes the point of view that these stresses are necessary for the development of resilient and competent youth. However, we also believe that these stresses must be balanced by consistent and reliable support from our entire staff. Therefore, Envoysâ€™ staff of certified child psychologists has designed reflective activities that assist youth in managing the empathic distress and culture shock that
they experience during and after the trips. All staff are trained to be aware of warning signs of emotional distress and to take proactive steps to ensure that students feel safe while they are exploring new worlds. Envoys also takes steps to ensure that students are free from emotional, verbal, and physical abuse from others. We have partnered with the internationally renowned child safety advocates Red Papaz to design training for staff to prevent bullying behaviors during our trips.
COMMUNICATIONS Envoys expeditions maintain multiple lines of communication with schools, families, and our main offices. Each trip carries satellite phones, local mobile phones, GPS transponders, and two-way radios. We have custom-built an online platform, housed on redundant servers
for 24/7 access, that facilitates mobile communication. Envoys staff upload photos, videos, postings, and Twitter feeds via satellite to this platform multiple times each day. Furthermore, our staff provide consistent GPS updates, allowing schools and families to track our movements on a real-time basis.
EVERY ENVOYS PROGRAM IS LED BY A TEAM OF EXPERIENCED FIELD DIRECTORS, WITH DEDICATED OPERATIONAL ASSISTANCE FROM OUR HOME OFFICE. ENVOYS ALSO ENGAGES ADVENTUROUS AND TALENTED COLLEGE STUDENTS AS SUPPORT STAFF FOR OUR TRIPS.
During the trip, the field directors are responsible for ensuring the quality of the programs, including all safety and logistics, and meeting our educational goals. Our support staff work to provide an extra layer of guidance and security, assisting with program activities to ensure a smooth and safe experience for all participants. Envoys selects college students for the support staff role with the express purpose of ensuring that â€œbridge mentorsâ€? are available for our program participants. Research has consistently shown that youth prefer mentors outside of the school context (compared to peers or teachers), and that youth are more receptive to mentors with whom they feel a level of social comfort. Envoys recognizes that the trip environment provides a strong context for effective mentorship, and therefore has an organizational responsibility to provide staff who can fulfill that role. 36
Balance and interpret conflicting messages from peers and adults Provide insight based on past experience
Provide motivation, perspective, and insight Provide friendly advice, competition, and learning benchmarks
Provide guidance and training for specific life skills
Envoys trains all staff in effective methods for engaging and guiding youth, particularly those at risk of falling into bad behaviors. All staff undergo a rigorous screening and application process. Only 1 in 5 initial applicants makes it through to Envoys training sessions.
ENVOYS PERSPECTIVE ON SERVICE LEARNING Envoys categorically refuses to engage in activities that contribute to a culture of dependency or a perspective of cultural superiority. We consider both the immediate impact of our work as well as the longterm disturbances in power relations and dependency when selecting projects. All activities must be proposed by our local partners, be essential to improving their operations, and facilitate collaboration between volunteers and community members.
ENVOYS PLANNING TOOLS FOR SERVICE LEARNING Drawing on the extensive academic training, professional experience, and analytical capabilities of Envoys staff, we engage in a rigorous planning process for all service learning projects. The steps of this process are shared with our students in order to provide them with the analytical tools necessary to plan their own service work in the future. In particular, we demonstrate the necessity of adopting different â€œlensesâ€? when considering development projects.
DO NO HARM The Do No Harm approach was formulated in the early 1990s by aid practitioners working in post-conflict settings. They saw a clear need for a method of planning that could determine how aid could be provided in conflict settings in ways that would not feed into and exacerbate the conflict.
community members to examine the power dynamics existing within the region. We focus on the impacts of resource transfers and implicit ethical messages contained within our interventions, taking a critical look at what type of relationship is implied by each detail of our potential project.
While Envoys does not travel in conflict or post-conflict settings, we do utilize an adaption of the Do No Harm framework as one planning tool for our service work. Our staff work in partnership with local NGOs and
This approach allows Envoys to carefully assess the potential impact of our work on both the communities and our students.
ENTRY POINTS The “Theory of Change,” also known as a “logic model,” is an outcomes-based approach that maps the assumptions that inform development programs and projects. This approach is used by a wide range of development agencies, NGOs, and civil society organizations to appreciate the complex network of factors that influence project outcomes. Envoys has adapted its theory of change framework from OxFam America’s programming. We begin by carefully delineating the final overall outcome of the program, then
backwards-map the intermediate steps and range of actors involved to achieve this end goal. We then identify entry points for potential interventions and develop indicators to evaluate success at each stage of the process. Approaching service programming through this holistic perspective helps Envoys and our partners to decide the optimum roles for students to take in the process. Envoys also makes use of the Theory of Change approach to integrate our programs with our partner schools.
BENEFIT ANALYSIS Development takes place within complicated systems. Envoys uses tools of economic analysis to consider the potential benefits of projects undertaken by our students. Our evaluation process comprises the following steps:
1 Clarifying the objectives of the overall program and specific project
2 Examining the design details that define the project on paper and shape the project in practice
3 Considering the direct effects of the programs and projects in terms of well-being and behavioral change, both for community members and Envoys students
4 Analyzing the indirect spillover and feedback effects of the programs and projects, both for community members and Envoys students
This process provides one lens through which Envoys compares the strengths and weaknesses of potential programs and projects.
ALIGNMENT AND ASSESSMENTS
We believe in standards-based education and the complementary nature of experiential education programs with classroom teaching goals. Therefore, Envoys has aligned its programs and activities to fulfill specific outcomes contained within:
The Global The Common Core Competency Matrices Career and College created by the Council Readiness Anchor of Chief State School Standards in English Officersâ€™ EdSteps Language Arts and initiative and the Asia Literacy in History, Society Partnership Social Studies, Science, for Global Learning and Technical Subjects
The Framework for The International 21st Century Learning Baccalaureate Middle created by the Years and Diploma Partnership for 21st Programmes Century Skills
INTERNAL ASSESSMENTS Envoys utilizes rigorous evaluations to drive performance and communicate our results to schools and families. Every lesson is field-tested and regularly assessed for its effectiveness at meeting learning goals. Envoys internal assessments are conducted through three means:
1. Detailed reports produced by Envoys staff at the conclusion of each trip 2. Open-ended evaluations from students and teachers taking Envoys trips 3. Skill development assessments taken by Envoys students following each trip All Envoys survey instruments have been evaluated by independent researchers to ensure validity and reliability. Our parent organization Off Bound Adventures is an active developer of the Classrooms Without Walls teaching methodologies, and has published research with the American Camp Association on its statistically robust evaluation methods. 44
EXTERNAL ASSESSMENTS YOUTH PROGRAM QUALITY ASSESSMENT (PQA) The PQA is a validated instrument designed to evaluate the quality of youth programs and identify staff training needs. It has been used in community organizations, schools, camps, and other places where youth have fun, work, and learn with adults. Envoys programs are assessed using this tool through our partnership with Off Bound Adventures.
GLOBAL COMPETENCE APTITUDE ASSESSMENT (GCAA)速 The GCAA is the product of ten years of extensive original research on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become Globally Competent. The research population included Fortune 500 company human resource managers, senior international education administrators from numerous countries, national and international government officials, and intercultural consultants on several continents. Envoys utilizes the GCAA as part of its staffing and recruitment process. Additionally, select Envoys students take the GCAA on a yearly basis to assess skill development. 45
Envoys adapts our curriculum from high-quality, research-based sources, including:
Harvard Law School
Leave No Trace
Program on Negotiation
Center for Outdoor Ethics
Education for Curriculum for Sustainable Development Global Citizenship Envoys is an organization of educators, and we believe in recognizing the work of the talented professionals from whom we have drawn our frameworks, content, principles, methods, and inspiration. Below is an incomplete listing of those to whom we are grateful:
Bob Bordone Kathy Boudette Florrie Darwin Eleanor Duckworth Howard Gardner Monica Higgins Ian Johnstone
Richard Murnane Jerome Murphy David Perkins John Curtis Perry Fernando Reimers Julie Schaffner Peter Uvin 47
nvoys founders Marina Lee, Seth Leighton, and Luis Enrique Garcia first met as classmates at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
During their studies, the three found themselves in lengthy discussions about the purpose and meaning of education, the means of supporting students through the critical formative years, and the need for innovation and high expectations in educational entrepreneurship. These conversations continued after each had set off on their respective professional paths.
Marina put her plans for educational entrepreneurship into action in Seoul, Seth moved to Ethiopia to train instructors at the University of Gondar, and Luis continued to expand South Americaâ€™s leading outdoor education company, Off Bound Adventures.
As Off Bound Adventures grew to serve more than 6,000 students per year, the three colleagues witnessed the demands placed on teachers for a global approach to education and the need for accountable and dedicated support to meet those demands. They recognized the necessity of experiences outside of the classroom to develop globally competent youth. The three were united in their belief that educational travel must meet the same high expectations that have been placed on the rest of the education sector.
Extending Off Bound Adventuresâ€™ extensive infrastructure and experience in outdoor education, the Envoys model combines rigorous online courses, focused international travel, and high-quality learning outputs.
Envoys programs have expanded rapidly, covering eighteen countries around the world. Envoys continues to draw its staff and counselors from the extensive HGSE alumni network, thus ensuring a high degree of pedagogical expertise, content knowledge, and passion for education throughout the organization.
BOARD OF ADVISORS
nvoys Advisory Board brings a wide range of experiences and expertise to our programs. Through regular meetings, they provide consistent and valuable guidance on our direction, strategy, pedagogy, and assessments. Most importantly, they challenge Envoys to continually improve and reach new levels of excellence in all that we do.
FERNANDO M. REINERS HARVARD UNIVERSITY Fernando M. Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Education and Director of Global Education and of International Education Policy at Harvard University. He is an internationally renowned expert on education policy, democratic citizenship, educational innovation and social entrepreneurship.
STEVEN KOLTAI BROOKINGS INSTITUTION Steven Koltai has over 30 years of business experience with several successful startups under his belt, including SES, the worldâ€™s largest commercial TV satellite system. Steven created and ran the Global Entrepreneurship Program for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He left the State Department to continue the work of global entrepreneurship ecosystem building via Koltai & Company. Steven is currently a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.
LINDA THOMSON-CLEM MICROLOAN FOUNDATION USA Linda Thomson-Clem currently serves as the Executive Director of Microloan Foundation USA, an international development organization providing microfinance services to over 30,000 poor women annually in sub-Saharan Africa. She has worked in the nonprofit field for more than 25 years, primarily in education and health related organizations. In 1986, she founded the Rowley Public Education Fund, and, a year later, founded Kids Kaleidoscope.
JOHN CURTIS PERRY THE FLETCHER SCHOOL, TUFTS UNIVERSITY The Henry Willard Denison Professor of History at the Fletcher School, John Curtis Perry is an international expert on diplomatic and maritime history, and the president of the Institute for Global Maritime Studies. The Japanese government has awarded him an imperial decoration, the Order of the Sacred Treasure, for his contributions to American-Japanese relations.
MONICA HIGGINS HARVARD UNIVERSITY Monica Higgins joined the Harvard faculty in 1995 as a member of the faculty at the Harvard Business School. She is currently a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her research and teaching focus on the areas of leadership development and organizational change.
JAMIL SIMON SPECTRUM MEDIA Jamil is an award-winning producer/director of documentaries and educational videos with more than 40 years of experience, including nearly 25 years working in the field of development communications. As President of Spectrum Media, Jamil has overseen the creation of documentary films, public awareness campaigns, and multi-media communication programs promoting innovation and change in radically different environments: From post-earthquake Haiti and rural Malawi, to top universities and the US State Department.
JOSH FORMAN INKLING Josh is the co-founder of Inkling, the pre-eminent developer of iPad textbook software. A dilettante of serious pursuits, Josh received a computer science degree from Harvard before passing through Microsoft, a Harvard laboratory, a startup, and a Ph.D. program in computational biology at Princeton. Among other matters, Josh advises Envoys on implementing technology-in-education solutions.